Have you heard the story about the fisherman and the businessman? Well if you haven’t, here. It’s an insightful story and the message inspires a lot of us. The gist of it is this: A businessman suggests to a talented fisherman that he build a fishing empire so one day he can retire to spend the rest of his days at his leisure. Puzzled, the fisherman replies that that by fishing just enough to feed his family, he spends his days at his leisure now.
At first glance, the message seems to be that we all work so we can end up doing the same thing: spending our days at our leisure. But that’s not really right. What if your dream is to leave your legacy in the form of a company? What if marriage and kids are not a goal? Hell, what if you really love to work all the time? The point is that everyone is different and social expectations change all the time.
Success means different things to each of us, so no one should dictate what success means to you. That’s the fast track to disappointment.
If you spend your time worrying about what other people think you should do or be, you’ll base all your decisions not on what fulfills you, but on what you perceive will fulfill others. And them? They’re most likely going through the same confusion you are.
It’s hard to shake off the doubts that plague us and it’s true that our world is built around certain principles that are harder not to conform to (e.g. making money). There are some things you may not be able to avoid, but that doesn’t mean you have to take traditions and common expectation at face value. So don’t. Make it your New Year’s resolution not to.
Alright, I know you’re waiting for tips. So here’s the only one you need: think critically and figure out what success means to you.
This may seem obvious, but it’s something everyone struggles with.
You’re told to work really hard to achieve what you want so you can be happy, but no one tells you that half the battle is figuring out what you want in the first place. Or that happiness isn't really a goal, it's something you'll work on forever.
But if you think critically about the world around you, you’ll start to be able to measure yourself against your own standards. And you’ll get better at it with practice.
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